andrew wrote:

> On Fri, 23 Jul 1999, Barry Garcia wrote:
> > This is EXACTLY why i have banned proselytizing to the Daka-Pumdog in my
> > conlang - consociety(yes, i'm working on the sound changes..... are those
> > reasonable changes from "Taga-Bundok"? or should i not change "n" to
> > "m"?).  I also made them fiercly protective of their traditions too.
> >
> This is about the third time that this discussion, or its varient, the
> Name of God thread, has risen on this on this list (Conlang) while I have
> been on it.  I'm now beginning to understand why it makes me feel
> uncomfortable.  While the destruction of culture by missionaries is a Bad
> Thing, thirty years of contextual theology going on in the Asian rim and
> Africa is being ignored.  It's a field that I read with great fascination.
> Maybe I'll do some concultural exploration in that direction some day.
> Many indigenous churches do not favour more missionaries.  In
> christianised societies like the Solomon Islands they simply feed off
> established churches and each other.

I'm not exactly sure why everyone is so protective of their conculture.
Sure, it cannot be doubted that in the real world it's great tragedy that
whole cultures are being wiped out in one or two generations, but it
seems to me to the kind of thing that's gone on for millennia;  it's not
just a modern phenomenon.  Heck, one of the most indelible marks
so distant a culture as that of the Romans left on the Empire was
Romanization of language and culture -- to the extent that Gauls were
just dying to set up temples to their gods which just happend to be
exact correlates of the Roman deities, with Greco-Roman facades to
match.  It seems that we are often in such a rush to criticize this cultural
imperialism that we forget that often those whose ancestral cultures are
dying, or have died, accepted this quite willingly, because it meant at least
a higher paying job and and, ostensibly, an easier lifestyle for them and
their children.   (At least in the Roman case, eerily similar to similar occurences
in recent years, there was no official policy of Romanization on the part
of the government -- the government only cared that the provincials
paid their taxes and obeyed the laws.  As such, when people saw wealthy
Roman coloniae springing up in their midsth, it held much the same allure
that modern industrial countries hold for nonindustrial nations in Latin
America or Asia, and so they wanted to imitate it.)

At any rate, I think it would be interesting to investigate what would happen
to just such a conculture, one which is under the thrall of some overwhelmingly
dominant foreign influence and is in the last stages of social and/or cultural death.
(The idea of fighting against quite literally unbeatable odds has always held a sort
of morbid fascination for me, even more so when it's extrapolated onto a cultural
scale like this -- it's sorta the image of a cultural Ragnarok).

Tom Wier <[log in to unmask]>
AIM: Deuterotom ICQ: 4315704
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."

"Things just ain't the way they used to was."
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